Skip to comments.Insight: As Ukraine looks west to Europe, Russia's shadow looms
Posted on 10/06/2013 12:51:24 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
Put out by Europe's efforts to build closer relations with six countries in east Europe and the Caucasus - former Soviet republics that Russia regards as in its sphere of influence - Moscow has been steadily turning up the heat.
The big question is Ukraine, economically and politically the most important of the partnership countries. Despite pressure on trade, including key gas supplies from Russia, which sees Ukraine as culturally its own, Kiev is determined to look West and seal closer links to Europe next month.
That's not what Moscow wants to hear, or will accept.
"What we have seen during the past few weeks is brutal Russian pressure against the partnership countries of a sort that we haven't seen in Europe for a very long time," said Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt last month, describing Moscow's actions as "economic warfare".
Russia has said it is merely protecting its interests. "Russia is in no way trying to infringe on anyone's sovereign right to make decisions about their international activity," President Vladimir Putin said in September.
Nearly all the partnership countries do the vast majority of their trade with Russia and rely on it for gas. Moscow is concerned about a flood of European goods entering the country if Kiev signs a free trade agreement with the EU.
Trade is particularly sensitive: Russia was Ukraine's biggest trading partner but not any longer. Now it is the EU, with 27 percent of Ukraine's exports and 34 percent of its imports, and the volume growing by double digits annually.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
remember the Holydor
Europe’s a mess. Why would the Ukraine want to end up owned by German banks?
That leads to an important question: perhaps it would be better if Ukraine ended up being owned by Russian banks.
The Ukraine took the worst of the German invasion. They have no love of Russia other than the millions of troops they poured in to retake it, and it wasn’t pretty.
some things never change
the Ukraine (”Europe’s bread basket,” has some energy and mining resources, serves as Russia’s route to its big naval base on the Black Sea (and thus is Russia’s major path into the Mediterranean), and happens (like Afghanistan and like Syria) to sit on land which the major energy powers want to build big pipelines on. If the “wrong” pipeline ever gets built, Russia could lose its dominant supply position vis-a-vis Europe. Plus, there are a lot of Russians living in the Ukraine, plus there is a (not altogether pleasant) history between Russia and Ukraine (as there is between Ukraine and Germany, which is the leading component of any European-Eukranian linkup).
World War 2 redux, without (for now, anyway) the bullets...
it’s about the port. they already have an agreement with Russia. the Ukraine is simply not independent.
Ukraine may need to be split up, it’s mostly Russians in the Eastern portion of the country.
Crimea is a real sticky wicket, as well. 60% there are ethnic Russians.
I suppose you could say that California needs to be split up as well.
A lot of places could stand to be “Split up.” IF that’s what it takes to keep the peace.
Even the Ukrainian president Yanukovich who is pro-Russian and is from eastern Ukraine wants economic ties with Europe and not Russia. Its not about language, its about economics.
It’s also because Putin’s mafia have acted so brazenly that the mafia running Ukraine (and Bielorussia) have to be afraid of being displaced by Putin’s cronies— Russian aggressiveness once again backfires.
Don’t know much about Ukraine. They should hate the Russians after what Stalin did. What else is there to know?
It started long before the Communists.
Prior to the Mongol invasions, these 3 were all "Eastern Slavs" speaking more or less the same language but with multiple dialects -- all Kievan Rus
Then the Mongols came and destroyed the various statelets of K.R. and in the west the Lithuanians took their opportunity and took Belarus and western Ukraine. This later came under Polish influence when Poland and Lithuania formed their commonwealth (which lasted for nearly 400 years).
At the same time, Muscowy, once just a creation of Vladimir-Suzdal, came to prominence thanks to canny Arch-dukes who became the tax-collectors for the Great Khan, built up influence and 100 years later defeated the great horde
After a period of time they absorbed the Mongols and Tartars -- arguably the Muscowite form of despotism is Mongol in continuation.
The Western parts were border lands (u kraina, on the edge) between the definitely western countries of Poland and Hungary and the definitely eastern Muscowy.
Then in 1791 Poland was wiped out from existence and the Muscowites absorbed it. From this point on the various East Slavic dialects disappeared slowly but not completely
So now, what is a Russian and what is a Ukrainian or Belarussian? There is no difference in race or ethnicity and only slight difference in language -- the 3 languages are dialects of each other and mutually (well more or less) understandable).
also note that Stalin and most of his cohorts were Georgian or related (which is one of the gripes of modern day Russians -- but they also forget that Stalin wanted to demolish all nationalities and replace it with Russian -- a complex chap
Finally, also note that whatever evil the Russian rulers inflicted on others, they inflicted the same on their own populace.